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What is BABY WEARING?

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Leeah and Baby Mylo

Baby wearing is when you carry your baby around in a sling or a pouch. There’s no doubt that you would have seen it being done in one form or another. Wraps, slings, pouches, all used for baby wearing.  They are all designed to keep the baby and its mother close and connected. Not only can this be great for freeing up your hands to get everything done (as we all know life doesn’t stop and wait just because a new baby has been born) but its benefits to the baby are massive. I have to admit I felt like I knew all there is about putting a baby in a sling or wrap. I actually didn’t really think there was much more to it than convenience for the mother. Wow, was I wrong!

As midwives we are very aware of the benefits of skin to skin contact with the mother and baby at birth. It helps bonding and breastfeeding because of the oxytocin that is produced from having the baby on the mother’s chest. Well, baby wearing actually does the same thing. Having your beautiful newborn cuddled up to you on your chest helps to further develop the bond you both have, and can be very beneficial to your breastfeeding relationship. All because it encourages the release of oxytocin, the hormone of LOVE.

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Stacy and Baby Olivia (such cute little toes)

Now if all that oxytocin isn’t enough to convince you how good baby wearing is, check out these statistics I found:

  • Babies that are carried/’worn’ on average cry 43% less than those who don’t.
  • They fall asleep quicker and generally sleep for longer and in a more deep sleep when in the carrier. Great for when you’re out shopping trying to get the groceries done for the week.
  • It’s easier to calm fussy babies when in the carrier, this then helps with the incidence of postnatal depression.
  • Can ease the symptoms and assist in the management of colic by keeping baby in the vertical up right position.
  • Reduces the risk of plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), caused by babies constantly lying on their back which can cause the soft bones in the skull to mould due to the constant pressure.

In my research to write about this topic I have overloaded my brain on YouTube videos about different ways to wrap and ‘wear’ your baby. There are seriously hundreds of ways to ‘wear’ your baby or babies…

Like all things in life there is a right way and a wrong way to wear your baby.

  • As mentioned before the baby should be in close to you not hanging outwards away from your body.
  • Baby should be only carried in a well supported strong carrier.
  • Idealy baby should be facing you. Outward facing can over stimulate baby and doesn’t support their hips.
  • If in a verticle position their bottom should be sitting lower than the hips creating a M shape. This is to prevent hip dysplasia by ensuring the hip socket is well engaged.
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Ben and Baby Talise

I have many friends who swear by baby wearing. One in particular always wears her baby. So I have been exposed to it for quite a while. I have to admit though, I didn’t really see the importance. I saw the convenience but not the importance. After reading all the research and statistics I am now a huge advocate for baby wearing.

Overrall it seems to be a win – win situation.

For more information or products for baby wearing visit these links:

http://babywearingweek.com.au/

http://www.manduca.com.au/

http://www.slingbabies.co.nz

Also some information on how to safely wear your baby can be found through this link.

http://www.choice.com.au/media-and-news/consumer-news/news/accc-action-on-baby-slings.aspx

Post by Midwife Alinta

(This article contains general information only).